Since their introduction, dental implants have rapidly changed the way that dentists restore missing teeth. Implants are small titanium posts that are surgically placed in the jawbone. Once the bone has healed around the posts, implants will take the place of natural dental roots, offering support for several different types of restorations. Drs. Joseph D. Murray and William Alexander have years of experience placing and restoring implants. Thanks to their expertise, you can receive permanent restorations that are virtually indistinguishable from natural teeth. At the practice of J.D. Murray DDS & Associates, we can perform every step of your treatment on-site, from preparatory procedures like bone grafting, to placement and restoration of your dental implants. Contact our East Point practice today to learn more about our comprehensive care and find out if implants are right for you.
What Are Dental Implants?
We proudly offer implant-supported crowns, bridges, and even full dentures. If you choose an implant-supported denture, we will typically use the innovative All-on-4® placement method. With this technique, your dentist will place four smaller implant posts, which will impact less of your surrounding tissue than traditional implants. Using this advanced technique, your dentist can also attach the denture on the same day as your implant placement.
We also offer the innovative Prettau® Bridge. This type of implant-supported denture has a remarkably lifelike appearance.
Am I a Candidate?
The best way to find out if you qualify for dental implants is to schedule an appointment with Dr. Murray or Dr. Alexander. During your initial consultation, we will perform scans and x-rays to assess the health of your jaw, gums, and remaining teeth.
An ideal candidate for implants:
- Is missing one or more teeth
- Has healthy gums
- Is in good oral and overall health
- Has sufficient jawbone tissue to support the posts
- Is committed to good oral hygiene
For many patients, our team can provide treatment to treat candidacy issues, such as gum disease or insufficient bone tissue. We offer a comprehensive range of services, including bone grafts, sinus lifts, and periodontal treatment.
There are some conditions which can impede your ability to receive implants, such as:
- Certain medications, such as immunosuppressants
- Alcohol or substance abuse
- High-dose radiation treatment
- Chronic diseases, such as uncontrolled diabetes
- Teeth clenching or grinding
In addition, we do not recommend implants for patients whose jawbones are still growing and developing. It is important to discuss your complete medical history during your appointment so your doctor can identify any potential risk factors to the success of your implants.
The Placement Process
Before your surgery, Dr. Murray or Dr. Alexander will use our state-of-the-art cone beam imaging system to obtain a 3-D view of your jawbone. In this way, we can plan out your implant placement with extreme precision.
For the surgery itself, your dentist will numb your gums and surrounding tissue. Then he will create incisions in your gums and place the implants in your jaw. As your bone heals over the next three to six months, it will seal around the implant posts during a process known as osseointegration. When you have finished healing, your dentist will attach abutment pieces to the tops of the posts. Finally, he will attach your custom-crafted restoration.
On-Site Preparatory Procedures
In order to receive dental implants, you must have a strong and dense enough jawbone to support the implant posts. Fortunately, there are several procedures that can enhance your bone density. For your convenience, we proudly offer these procedures here in the office, including:
- Bone grafting: Using your own bone or a substitute material, your dentist can build up your jawbone structure and create a sturdy foundation for your implants.
- Sinus lift: This procedure is similar to bone grafting, but the dentist will also reposition your sinus membranes to accommodate the implant posts.
- Ridge augmentation: Ridge augmentation will build up your alveolar ridge, the bone just underneath your teeth. The procedure, which is similar to bone grafting, may be especially useful if you have undergone extractions prior to implant surgery.
Though preliminary treatments will extend your treatment timeline by several months, they are often integral to the success of dental implants.
Why Choose Dental Implants?
Although Dr. Murray offers several other lifelike restorative options, there are a number of reasons to consider dental implants. First, implants are highly durable. With proper dental hygiene, they could last the rest of your life. Additionally, because implants are permanent, implant-supported restorations will never slip out of place. With these restorations, you can enjoy a more varied diet and a greater sense of freedom.
Implants can also help promote your overall oral health. They are the only restorative treatment proven to prevent the jawbone degeneration that results from tooth loss. Most significantly, implant-supported restorations look and feel extremely natural. Your renewed smile can provide you with restored comfort and function, and a greater sense of self-confidence.
How Much Do Implants Cost?
The final cost of your treatment with dental implants will depend on several factors. We can provide you with a personalized estimate during your initial consultation at our office. When creating this estimate, we will consider:
- The current state of your smile: Depending on your current oral health, you may need additional procedures to prepare your smile for implant placement, such as a bone graft or periodontal treatment. While these preparations can improve the success of your implants, they will also affect your final cost.
- How many teeth you are missing: The more widespread your tooth loss, the greater number of implants you will likely need to restore your smile. More implants typically require a larger investment.
- The type of restoration you need: We offer a range of restorations at our office, including crowns, bridges, and dentures. The size of your restoration, as well as the material used to craft it, will affect your overall treatment cost.
- Whether you want sedation: We offer both oral conscious sedation and nitrous oxide at our practice (snooze dentistry) to ensure your comfort and help you relax during treatment. However, sedation is typically an additional cost.
- What your insurance covers: Despite the many benefits of dental implants, many insurance plans still do not cover implants. However, we will work to maximize any applicable coverage.
If you are concerned about paying for your implants, we can help coordinate a flexible financing plan through CareCredit® or iCare Financial. In addition, we offer in-house payment plans to minimize your out-of-pocket costs.
Learn More during a Consultation
Repair your smile with restorations that are unrivaled in their stability. Contact our office to schedule your consultation and find out if implants are right for you.